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Laparoscopic Appendectomy In Children
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Laparoscopic appendectomy is surgery to treat acute appendicitis. Acute appendicitis is a condition where the appendix becomes inflamed (swollen). The appendix is a small pouch that is attached to the cecum (first part of the large intestine). It is located in the lower right side of the abdomen (stomach). A piece of food or hardened stool may get trapped in the appendix. This may cause the appendix to get blocked, infected, swollen, and filled with pus. If left untreated, the appendix may rupture (burst) and cause severe abdominal pain and infection (peritonitis).
- In a laparoscopic appendectomy, small incisions (cuts) are made in your child's abdomen (belly). Caregivers will insert special tools and a laparoscope through these incisions to do the surgery. A laparoscope is a long metal tube with a light and tiny video camera on the end. This gives caregivers a clear view of the abdominal area while watching the images on a monitor. During this surgery, your child's appendix will be removed, and the inside of his abdomen cleaned to avoid infection. With a laparoscopic appendectomy, your child's appendicitis may be cured, and the symptoms it causes relieved.
- Keep a current list of your child's medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list and the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Give vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
- Give your child's medicine as directed: Call your child's primary healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Ask before you change or stop giving your child his medicines.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age: Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight an infection caused by bacteria. Give your child this medicine exactly as ordered by his primary healthcare provider. Do not stop giving your child the antibiotics unless directed by his primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or give your child leftover antibiotics that were given to him for another illness.
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
Ask for more information about where and when to take your child for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services for your child, ask for information.
Activity and rest:
Let your child to move or walk as soon as possible after his surgery. This will help prevent further problems such as blood clots forming in his legs. Your child should also rest as much as possible and get plenty of sleep.
Give your child a good, well-balanced diet to help him feel better, have more energy, and heal faster. If your child is able to eat his regular diet, let him eat a variety of healthy foods. These may include fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or other healthy foods that he usually eats.
Your child may need more rest than he realizes while he heals.
Quiet play will keep your child safely busy so he does not become restless and risk injuring himself. Have your child read or draw quietly. Follow instructions for how much rest your child should get while he heals.
When you are allowed to give a bath or shower to your child, carefully wash the incisions with soap and water. Afterwards, put on clean, new bandages. Change your child's bandages any time they get wet or dirty. Ask your child's caregivers for more information about wound care.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
- Your child has nausea (upset stomach) or vomiting (throwing up).
- Your child is irritable and crying more than usual.
- Your child's bandage becomes soaked with blood.
- Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have any questions or concerns about your child's disease, surgery, medicine, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your child feels very full and cannot burp or vomit (throw up).
- Your child is unable to have bowel movements.
- Your child has severe chest or shoulder pain, or trouble breathing all of a sudden.
- Your child is not able to eat or drink, or is urinating less or not at all.
- Your child's vomit is greenish in color, looks like coffee grounds, or has blood in it.
- Your child's wound or bandage has pus or a bad smell.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.